Finnish Language Schools & Courses
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- Studying at Finnish Universities
- Summer Universities
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- Free Online Finnish Courses & Lessons
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Finnish isn't easy but language training is widely available whether you'd like to be a full-time student, complete a summer university course, or study online. The increasing availability of online courses should be of particular interest to people planning to move to Finland; Finnish language is commonly cited as the greatest difficulty for foreigners when looking for work as well as in the workplace. Studying online allows people to learn the language prior to arriving in Finland.
Universities offer courses in Finnish and Swedish for their international staff and students. Some universities also open their courses to those who are not working or studying at the university. Courses range from beginners' level to advanced, some progress at an 'easy' rate while others are intensive. For details of courses, eligibility to enrol, dates, prerequisite skills etcetera, visit the site of the institution you would like to learn more about.
- Aalto University Language Centre into.aalto.fi/display/enlc/
Phone 050 522 4705, Address Otakaari 1, Espoo, M wing, 3rd floor
- Helsinki University Language Services www.helsinki.fi/kksc/language.services/english/
Open Mon-Fri 10-15, Phone (09) 191 23234, Address Vuorikatu 5 A, 3rd floor, Helsinki
- University of Eastern Finland www.uef.fi/en/web/kielikeskus/ > Finnish as a Second Language > Our Finnish Courses
Campuses in Joensuu, Kuopio and Savonlinna. Contact the university regarding Finnish language courses
- University of Jyväskylä Language Centre https://kielikeskus.jyu.fi/en
Open Mon-Fri 8.16, Phone (014) 260 1211, Address Main Campus, Seminaarinmäki,Building O
- University of Oulu Language Centre www.oulu.fi/kielikoulutus/ > Finnish for Exchange Students
Phone 0294 480 000, Address Pentti Kaiteran katu 1, Linnanmaa
- University of Tampere Language Centre www.uta.fi/en/ > Language Centre
Phone (03) 355 111, Address Kalevantie 4, Tampere
- University of Turku Language Centre www.utu.fi/en/units/language-centre/
Phone (02) 333 5975, Address Horttokuja 2, Turku
- University of Vaasa Language Centre www.uva.fi/en/ > About Us > Organisation > Faculties and Departments > Language Centre
Phone (29) 449 8000, Address Wolffintie 34, Vaasa
There are 20 summer universities throughout Finland. They operate in tight contact and permanent collaboration with the Finnish universities. Summer universities offer short-term courses, not degree programmes. Nor do they award financial grants for either Finnish or international students; all expenses must be covered by the student. Fees usually vary from 70 euros to 600 euros. The language of instruction is mainly Finnish but some courses are taught in English. Annually more than 1,100 international students participate in summer university courses. Courses are open to everyone but prerequisites and application dates vary so make sure to contact the appropriate summer university for specific information. Courses are increasingly available online.
What Summer Universities Offer
- Open university studies. These courses are carried out in accordance with the requirements of the universities and the students earn ECTS credits.
- Further vocational training
- Preparatory and extramural courses
- Studia general lectures
- Seminars and events on cultural and regional issues
- Univeristy activities for the third age
- See: Association of Summer Universities in Finland www.kesayliopistot.fi/summer-universities-in-finland
Finnish Language Courses at Summer Universities
Course levels vary from level 0 up to level B2-C1. Themed courses, such as oral or written communication, are also available. Summer universities offering Finnish language courses include Kuopio, Central Ostrobothnia, Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Mikkeli, Northern Ostrobothnia, Oulu, Päijät-Häme (Lahti), South Karelia, Tampere, Turku, and Vaasa.
Online courses are growing in number and frequency, making it possible to participate from outside Finland. These courses are increasingly available year-round.
Summer Universities offering Finnish language courses: www.kesayliopistot.fi/summer-universities-in-finland
- Finnjoy: Effective Finnish for Beginners www.finnjoy.fi
Finnjoy's method emphasizes using Finnish from the very start. The courses in Helsinki are designed to quickly give students a grasp of central aspects of the language so they can use it 'in action', facilitating quick and effective learning - just as native speakers do. In addition to classes, exercises done outside class hours are important. The main teaching language is Finnish, and English / Swedish / French may be used when necessary.
Course information and schedules: www.finnjoy.fi
Blog: Finnjoy's site also includes a blog to help you enjoy all things Finnish, and understand Finn-things you find puzzling! Still in its infancy, the Finnjoy blog has a growing archive of interesting articles about Finnish culture, language, food, events and more.
- Finnish Language Course Search www.finnishcourses.fi
Search for Finnish or Swedish language courses in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen, Tampere or Turku, according to your starting level and other criteria. This service from Infopankki is expanding to include additional cities, so check to see whether more locations are included than those listed here!
- Onnenkieli Suggestopedic Language Courses www.onnenkieli.fi
Onnenkieli Oy, located in Tampere, uses the suggestopedic system to quickly teach people to speak Finnish. The unemployment office will pay for the course if a person is about to set up a company or get a good job as soon as he/she learns Finnish. Check site for details of courses and programmes: current courses include Finnish for Immigrant Workers and Finnish for Job Seekers
Phone (03) 2559 808, Address Hatanpään valtatie 34 D, 33100 Tampere
Language Training for Businesses
- Josbel Oy josbel.com
Since 1983 Josbel has specialised in corporate language training, translation services and cross-cultural education. Language courses are available in Finnish, English, Swedish, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Polish, Norwegian, Danish and Swedish. I am proud to have been a trainer for Josbel in the mid-90's, and thoroughly enjoyed working with major government and corporate clients
If you don't have the time or inclination to attend a course, there are online Finnish tutorials. The following are all free, well put together, and genuinely helpful. Most sites have audio so you can practise pronunciation as well.
- WordDive: Finnish for Immigrants is a full language course designed to help you master the basics of Finnish, and includes two elementary level courses and an introduction to verb conjugation. The course takes 15-50 hours, and is free but must be completed within three months of activation of the course package. Available in Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Georgian, German, Italian, Japanese, Kurdish, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swedish, Vietnamese
Phrases & Fundamentals
- Hei Finland: 100 Finnish phrases in your pocket! These are not Finnish lessons per se, but useful phrases sorted by theme and subject, provided in text and audio. The site is available in English and French, with a mobile version and a free iPhone app.
- Speak Finnish!: A wide range of materials to help you learn Finnish. Pick up some basic phrases, expand your vocabulary, or discuss language questions in the forums. Speak Finnish! also helps you find 'language partners' to practise your Finnish with.
- Uuno: Presented by Tampere University of Applied Sciences, UUNO is an internet-based guide to Finnish which presents 10 situations related to everyday Finnish life and culture in the form of comic strips. You will learn useful, basic, everyday Finnish words, phrases and terminology.
- Tavataan Taas!: Two-part introduction to Finnish language and culture, presented by the Helsinki University Language Centre. Part 1 introduces Finnish vocabulary used in everyday life. Part 2 proceeds to basic grammar. You can test your knowledge at the linked Finnish web sites. Available in English, French, German, Bulgarian.
- Digital Dialects: Games for learning phrases, numbers, vocabulary, spelling, verb conjugation and alphabets. Available in English, French, Japanese.
- Linguhouse: Phrases and vocabulary broken down into 16 topics. Available in Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish.
- Suomen Kielioppi: Finnish grammar, broken down into phonology, pronouns, numerals, verbs, conjunctions, adverbs, cases and case endings. Available in English, Finnish, German
- Finnish Grammar: For novice Finnish speakers, this is an excellent 'textbook' of Finnish grammar.
- Verbix: Conjugate any Finnish verb. If you think that sounds a bit 'specialised' or unnecessary, you probably haven't seen Finnish verb conjugations!
- Puhutaan suomea: A magazine featuring articles in Finnish at different levels of difficulty with explanations of vocabulary and grammar. Topics include Finland, Finnish society and the Finnish language. It also provides audio for selected articles, to facilitate the learning process for those not living in Finland.
- The Finnish Teacher: Vocabulary, phrases and grammar lessons, and articles about Finland.
- www.sanakirja.org: Finnish > English > Finnish Dictionary. Sanakirja is not so versatile as Google Translate, but much more comprehensive.
- www.babadada.com: Finnish > English > Finnish Dictionary. "The visual dictionary: Every language at a glance" With a fun graphical interface, including numerous other languages.
- Finnish Summer Universities: Each year, for an extended season in summer, 20 universities throughout Finland collaborate to provide an extensive range of Finnish language courses. Check site for curent info and details of plans for the next season. Seasonal details will also be published on this page.
- A Fun Look at the Finnish Language provides some interesting Finnish phrases if you feel you are advanced enough!